I (Darcee) randomly and unexpectedly ran into Patricia a few weeks ago at a resort during a weekend getaway and during a quick chat, we talked about this blog series and she mentioned how she thought she was in a season of rebuilding…and I have been waiting in anticipation ever since to be able to read her thoughts. I’ve been excited because I think at some time or another we all find ourselves in this type of season, wondering what to do, and maybe even how we got there. I also knew that Patricia was someone who was going to fervently seek the Lord and wise counsel during a time like this. Her words were worth the wait…
How would you define the season that you are in right now?
Hey there! My name is Patricia and I am excited to share a little about myself with you. My prayer is that my story will find its way to someone who will be encouraged by the way God delivered me from a difficult season and led me into a new one in His perfect timing.
Speaking of timing, I am sitting here in a trendy little coffee shop in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina writing this post. My husband Andrew and I get to live in Charleston for a month while he completes a medical school rotation. Two years ago, I felt hopeless about where I would be at this point in my life. I never thought I would be fervently pursuing a richer and more joyful relationship with the Lord. I never thought I would get to spend every day with my husband and work on being the very best friend I can be to him. And I never thought I would trust God this much with my future.
I am in a season of rebuilding from a very difficult season. At the beginning of 2016, Andrew proposed on the one of the happiest days of my life. At the time I was working on a project in Denver, Colorado while he was back in Galveston, Texas for medical school. We had been doing the long-distance thing for a couple years, so we were thrilled to get married and start our lives together. As the wedding grew closer and I returned to Houston, the anxiety really started setting in. I started going to a Christian counselor (yep, I got one of those) on a weekly basis. I worked through a lot of my fears, but couldn’t seem to answer the biggest question of all: how would I work in one city and live in another? I loved my job and was not ready to give up on my corporate career. I knew deep down the commute from our home in Galveston to my job in Houston would be impossible for me, but I relentlessly blocked that tiny detail out of my mind to enjoy our wedding season to the fullest. Our wedding weekend and honeymoon were the best and sweetest days of my life.
I eventually faced reality the Monday after our honeymoon when I started commuting for work. Galveston and Houston are only 60 miles apart, but the drive lasts around 2 hours in rush hour traffic. At times, it felt like no one understood how difficult that sacrifice was every day. A huge cup of coffee, several great podcasts and early morning phone calls with best friends were really the only chances I had at surviving without going crazy. I learned quickly that it was both emotionally and physically draining to spend almost 4 hours getting to and from work, leaving me almost no room to be a good wife or friend. So, after 2 months of commuting, I decided to move to Houston full-time to be closer to work. That was the beginning of our long-distance marriage and what became a really dark time for me. On a positive note, I want to give a BIG shout out to my generous and wonderful in-laws who I lived with in Houston for far longer than any of us anticipated. Even in the midst of all my sadness about being away from home, I was always thankful and excited to see them after a long day. They loved me and welcomed me in the way Jesus does. They reminded me that family is there to support you while you work through your problems, no matter how long it takes.
On June 5, 2017, exactly 7 months after our wedding day, I decided to leave my job to move home with Andrew. For years I maintained a death grip on my career and my comfort zone, and this was the day I finally let go. It was the day I surrendered everything – and I mean everything – to the Lord. I prayed on my drive to the office that day that God would bring me peace about my decision. It didn’t have to be overwhelming, life-changing peace, but just some tiny sign that He would take care of me. Obedience is our way of following God based on truth and not feeling. But my goodness did I want to feel sure this was what He wanted for me! God did not end up sending me a supernatural sign that quitting my job would turn out okay, but He did lead me to a place of trusting Him. That alone provided me with enough courage to leave my job and move home. I love the moment in a story where God answers prayers, and this was the moment He answered mine. I told my bosses I was leaving the company, and when I walked away, I felt peace for the first time in 2 years. Have you ever felt the divine peace that surpasses understanding after a big step of obedience? It will bring you to tears. I shut myself in a conference room and cried out of joy and relief. In an instant, I was leaving that rough and emotional season behind and entering into a new one. I didn’t know what was ahead, but I knew the last season was over. That’s why they are called seasons, y’all; they do eventually end!
I learned quickly that when you get married and say your vows, you are saying “I do” to sacrifice, selflessness, compromise and considering your spouse more significant than yourself (Philippians 2:3-4). For me, it meant giving up a career I loved to move home to be with Andrew while he finished school. It meant taking a leap of faith based on truth, without knowing how I would feel on the other side. To do so, I had to let go of my fears and expectations and trust God with everything I held dear to me. He has blessed us in ways we never imagined were possible.
Fast forward to today. I am thankful for those 7 months, but even more thankful they are behind me. I am thankful for God’s faithfulness to me. I am thankful to spend every day with my best friend. I am thankful for my friends and family who supported me in even my hardest and most messy moments. I am thankful for God’s perfect plan that is unfolding in little and big ways every day. I often regret not getting to this season of life sooner, but going back in time is not an option. What I know is God works in all things for our good and for His glory. If He was glorified through our story and that season, then His will be done.
If you are struggling to trust God with your future or if you are going through a difficult season, I hear you. If you feel forgotten or fear that things will not get better, I want you to know I understand you. God desires for you to experience joy and rejoice in Him every day. You may just have to make some sacrifices to get there. Here are a few scriptures and worship songs that brought me joy during my season of hardship:
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
“I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’” Psalm 16:2
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him.” Psalm 62:5
“Jesus is Better” by Aaron Ivey (I encourage you to listen to this one on repeat!)
Glory, glory, we have no other king
But Jesus Lord of all
Raise the anthem, our loudest praises ring
We crown Him Lord of all
In all my sorrows, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
In all my victories, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Than any comfort, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
More than all riches, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Our souls declaring, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Our song eternal, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Glory, glory, we have no other king
But Jesus Lord of all
“How Deep The Father’s Love For Us”
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
In this season, what is currently motivating you to get quiet with God? And/or what keeps you from getting quiet with God?
Getting quiet with God can be a challenge no matter what kind of season you are in. There will always be distractions that tempt us away from being obedient and sitting still with God. We may feel like going to a work out class, sleeping in, scrolling through Instagram or watching a Netflix show in our free time, but that doesn’t mean we always should. Don’t get me wrong, I love work out classes and Netflix, but those are prime examples of idols that steal too much of my attention if I’m not careful. Since starting this season of rebuilding I have been more disciplined about setting aside time every day to pray and spend quality time in the Word. What started as discipline has resulted in a desire to seek Him in everything I do. I find myself less drawn to the distractions and more drawn to what God wants to teach me.
And on that note, a quick word about social media: I have found it very difficult to glorify God with social media. I have spoken to many women about the negative impact of social media on their lives. When you think about discipline and your time with God, I encourage you to be honest with yourself about the impact of social media on your emotions, your relationship with God and your security in the finished work of Jesus. Do pictures or comments make you question your worth? Do you spend more time scrolling through your feed than you do pursuing your relationship with the Lord? If the answer to these questions has ever been yes, I highly recommend a month-long social media cleanse. I cleansed from Instagram back in 2015 for two weeks and I enjoyed it so much that I continued my cleanse for a year and a half. And if this photograph-loving, tech guru can do without Instagram for a year and a half, you can do without it for one month! I guarantee you will feel more present with God, more intentional with the people around you, and more grateful for the many blessings in your life.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
-by patricia coskey
This post is part of the Summer of Seasons that Darcee and I are hosting. Our hope is that as others share about seeking God in their particular season of life, we would all be encouraged to know and love and seek after the Lord more in our daily lives.